|Publication number||US6994171 B2|
|Application number||US 10/766,624|
|Publication date||Feb 7, 2006|
|Filing date||Jan 28, 2004|
|Priority date||Jan 28, 2004|
|Also published as||US20050161240, WO2005075789A1|
|Publication number||10766624, 766624, US 6994171 B2, US 6994171B2, US-B2-6994171, US6994171 B2, US6994171B2|
|Inventors||Alan Orr, Mark Trevithick|
|Original Assignee||Helmerich & Payne, Inc.|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (23), Referenced by (42), Classifications (7), Legal Events (3)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
1. Field of the Invention.
The present invention relates to a method and apparatus for providing self-aligning connections for a two section mast for a drilling rig.
2. Prior Art.
In various oil and gas operations, well drilling rigs are utilized for subterranean drilling. A mast or derrick of a drilling rig are well known devices used in oil and gas and other drilling operations. The drilling rig will often include an upstanding mast connected to the floor of the drilling rig. The mast may extend vertically 40 to 50 meters or more and be composed of structural steel framework.
It is often desirable to move a large drilling rig, including all of its equipment, from one well bore to another. In the past, in order to move a large drilling rig, it has been necessary to disassemble or “rig down” the drilling structure. The rig down process requires a great many steps including disconnecting all ancillary services, laying down of the mast from a vertical to a horizontal position, disassembling the mast, moving the drilling structure components to an alternate well bore, and then reassembling the entire drill structure in a “rig up” operation.
The drilling mast may include a back face joining a pair of sides and an open front face. The mast may be divided into a top mast section and a bottom mast section, with each mast section having front legs and rear legs. Each mast section may be brought to a well site on a vehicle and then the front legs and the rear legs of the sections are attached.
Once the sections of the mast are connected together while in a horizontal position, the mast would be moved radially from a horizontal to a vertical position.
When connecting the sections of mast together, it is necessary to align the connecting ends of the legs and insert pins through aligned openings to hold the sections together. This typically would require repeated movements of the sections until they were positioned in proper alignment. Even with repeated movements of the mast sections, there would be required extensive use of sledge hammers or other equipment to drive the pins in.
Also in the past, the concept of self aligning connections in which structural components are maneuvered into final position by guiding elements has been utilized and is common within many industries. In fact, at least one prior drilling mast utilizes a self aligning type connection to join a fixed lower section to an upper section that is lifted into position by a crane.
However, the present invention is unique in the configuration and geometry of the structural/guiding elements and in the process by which an upper mast section is positioned in a generally horizontal plane by a tractor trailer with dolly and then aligned and joined by the connection to a fixed lower mast section supported at one end by hydraulic mast stands.
Accordingly, it would be advantageous to provide a two section mast with self-aligning connections which reduces the number of truck loads required for moving the sections and which improves the overall efficiency of the rig up and rig down process.
It would also be advantageous to provide a two section mast with self-aligning connections which eliminates complicated and cumbersome systems required in telescopic, folding, or collapsible mast designs.
It would also be advantageous to provide a two section mast with self-aligning connections which reduces the time required for mast assembly prior to erection by repeatable and precise relative positioning of the mast sections with respect to each other.
It would be advantageous to provide a two section mast with self-aligning connections which facilitates controlled pin installation rather than sledge hammer driven alignment.
It would be advantageous to provide a two section mast with self-aligning connections which reduce or eliminate the use of sledge hammers during mast assembly and disassembly.
The present invention is directed to a two section mast with self-aligning connections. The two section mast includes an elongated bottom mast section that may be transported and brought to a mast stand at a drilling rig by a vehicle such as a tractor trailer and dolly in a generally horizontal orientation. The bottom mast section is oriented so that the dolly is on a guide frame and the lower most end of the bottom mast section is adjacent the drilling rig.
The bottom mast section includes a pair of front legs and a pair of parallel and opposed rear legs. Hydraulic cylinders are raised so that the rear legs of the bottom mast section are engaged and the bottom mast section is raised from the tractor trailer and supported by the hydraulic cylinders and the dolly. Once this is accomplished, the unattached tractor trailer is free to move away.
An elongated top mast section is thereafter brought to the well site by a vehicle such as a tractor trailer and dolly with the top mast section transported in a generally horizontal position.
The top mast section includes a pair of front legs and a pair of parallel and opposed rear legs. The bottom mast section is positioned so that the front legs of the bottom mast section are aligned but slightly lower than the front legs of the top mast section. Likewise, the rear legs of the bottom mast section are aligned but slightly lower than the level of the top mast rear legs.
The pair of bottom mast front legs each terminate in an open alignment jaw having a pair of opposed hooks. The alignment jaws with pairs of hooks will engage the pair of top mast front legs which each terminate in a pair of protruding circular plates. The protruding circular plates align with and are received in the jaw of the bottom mast front legs and in particular in the opposed hooks. The circular plates and the jaws each include a central opening to receive a pin or other fastener therethrough.
Likewise, the pair of bottom mast rear legs each terminate in an open jaw having a pair of protruding opposed circular plates. The bottom mast rear legs mate with a pair of protruding arms, each arm having shoulders extending from the top mast rear legs.
The hydraulic cylinders engage and raise the bottom mast so that the hooks on the front legs engage and receive the protruding circular plates of the front legs top mast section. As the bottom mast continues to be raised, the rear legs of the bottom mast likewise will come into alignment with the rear legs of the bottom mast until the protruding opposed circular plates of the bottom mast rear legs come to rest against the shoulders of the protruding arms of the top mast rear legs.
The embodiments discussed herein are merely illustrative of specific manners in which to make and use the invention and are not to be interpreted as limiting the scope of the instant invention.
While the invention has been described with a certain degree of particularity, it is to be noted that many modifications may be made in the details of the invention's construction and the arrangement of its components without departing from the spirit and scope of this disclosure. It is understood that the invention is not limited to the embodiments set forth herein for purposes of exemplification.
Referring to the drawings in detail,
The drilling rig 10 may also include a guide frame 16 including mast stands 18. In the present embodiment, a pair of hydraulic cylinders connected to the hydraulic utilities (not shown) of the drilling rig are utilized to activate the mast stands, although it will be appreciated that other arrangements are possible.
The two section mast includes an elongated bottom mast section 20. The bottom mast section 20 may be transported and brought to the mast stand 16 at the drilling rig 10 by a vehicle such as a tractor trailer 22 and dolly 24. The bottom mast section 20 is transported in a generally horizontal position. Once at the drilling rig site, the tractor trailer 22 with bottom mast section 20 may be backed up and oriented so that the dolly 24 is on a ramp of the guide frame 16 and the lower most end of the bottom mast section 20 is adjacent the drilling rig substructure 12.
The bottom mast section 20 includes a pair of front legs 30 and a pair of parallel and opposed rear legs 32 (one front leg and one rear leg visible in
As best seen in
The top mast section 36 includes a pair of front legs 42 and a pair of parallel and opposed rear legs 44 (one front leg and one rear leg visible in
Thereafter, the mast stands 18 are utilized to engage the rear legs 32 and raise the bottom mast section 20. As will be described herein in combination with the self-aligning connections of the present invention, this will accurately align the bottom mast front legs 30 with the top mast front legs 42 and accurately align the bottom mast rear legs 32 with the top mast rear legs 44. Stated in other words, the front legs 30 of the bottom mast section 20 are in planar alignment with the front legs 42 of the top mast section 36 and the rear legs 32 of the bottom mast section 20 are in planar alignment with the rear legs 44 of the top mast section 36.
Thereafter, as shown in
It will be appreciated that the process is performed in reverse sequence during the rig down process.
As best seen in
Likewise, as best seen in
The bottom mast rear legs 32 mate with a protruding arm having shoulders on each of the top mast rear legs 44.
As best seen in
As best seen in
The lower most end of the upper mast 36 is brought adjacent to the upper most end of the bottom mast section 20. The bottom mast section is aligned but, as seen in
The mast stands 18 of the mast stand engage and raise the bottom mast section 20 so that the hooks 52 and 54 on the front legs 30 of the bottom mast stand engage the protruding circular plates 64 and 66 of the top mast section 36. The opening of the hooks is larger than the diameter of the circular plates so that they are guided into proper position.
Initially, the front legs of the bottom mast will be engaged with the front legs of the bottom mast section with the rear legs unengaged, as best shown in
Whereas, the present invention has been described in relation to the drawings attached hereto, it should be understood that other and further modifications, apart from those shown or suggested herein, may be made within the spirit and scope of this invention.
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|U.S. Classification||173/28, 173/24, 173/1|
|International Classification||E21B15/00, E21B7/02|
|Jan 28, 2004||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: HELMERICH & PAYNE, INC., OKLAHOMA
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:ORR, ALAN;TREVITHICK, MARK;REEL/FRAME:014944/0082
Effective date: 20040116
|Aug 7, 2009||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 4
|Aug 7, 2013||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 8